Good morning and greetings, fall harvest fans. Yes, fruit and vegetable lovers, this is the time of year that all kinds of cash crops are being harvested here on the central coast, with most of these spoils of the earth ending up on the grocery shelf or at a Farmer’s Market. Of course, some of these products find their way to our local dispenseries, but that’s another exit along the preventive glaucoma highway.
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the cherry tree, so it was with red delicious interest when I came across this story written by Ben Popken at lifeinc.today.com. It seems that our crisp and juicy friend, the apple, is the latest food that it may be in short supply on supermarket shelves. Or in the words of Che Guevera, “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.” Gil Scott-Heron said “The revolution will not be televised.” That’s why I’m going to TiVo it.
So who is to blame about dem apples? Well, I blame everything on the Republican farmers and Congress. Of course, I’m just kidding, I don’t blame Congress. No, granny smith fans, the fall guy or gal here is mother nature, as an early warm spring, not to be confused with Irish Spring, brought out the blossoms on the apples trees. Then came a March-April cold spell that wiped them off the map. Or as actress Mayim Bialik would say, “No blossom, no apple” or “No tickee, no washee.”
For example, in Michigan, the nation’s third largest source of apples, the crop is down 80 percent, while the Detroit Lion’s play has been even worse. New York’s crop, which is the nation’s second largest, has been cut by half, despite the addition of golden boy Tim Tebow. As they say in Ecclesiastes, “All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full, like the Oakland Coliseum most Sundays.” This has nothing to do with our deciduous friend, I was just going with the flow.
The NFL and the U.S. Apple Association estimate this year’s inventory at 202 million bushels and one peck, down about 10 percent from last year. A bushel equals 42 pounds. That’s 966 million fewer pounds of apples to go around for apple pies, cakes, cobblers, tailors, iPhones and strudels. The USDA’s estimates are for the lowest harvest in 20 years and for the Giants not to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
But there is good news on the apple front. Washington State, which normally supplies 60 percent of the nation’s apple inventory and annual rainfall, is looking to break a record on the harvest front. The big question up there in the Pacific Northwest is, can they find enough people to pick the apples before they start falling and can the Seahawks go to the Super Bowl with a rookie quarterback at the helm? And even more importantly, will they be able to lure an NBA team back to Seattle? If the apples are not on the trucks by Thanksgiving, they’ll be carpeting God’s green earth, creating an all-you can eat buffet for our hermaphrodite friend, the worm.
But even if Washington bucks up and finds its pickers, the DEA and USDA say it won’t be enough. Here in the Golden State, we don’t have to worry, as the apple crop is peaking like Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, as locals will be set for the baking, canning, juicing and bobbing season.
On the other hand, the U.S. Apple Association says not to panic, as they say there will be no shortage and apple pies will be flowing out of the stores like the great Mississippi at Thanksgiving time. They say things may change in the spring, but by then, imports from Chile, New Zealand and New Jersey can pick up some of the slack. So there’s no reason to panic, but if you must, panic constructively.
Some apple thoughts. Actor Scott Foley says “The older I get, the more I become an apple pie, sparkling cider kind of guy. Financier Bernard Baruch once observed that “Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the only one who asked why.” And writer Dorothy Parker came out with this doozy. “Ducking for apples-change one letter and that’s the story of my life.” I guess she’s talking golden delicious.
On a personal note, I’m quite fond of fuji apples. And I can down freshly pressed apple cider like water. However, when it comes to applesauce, Mott’s Original is the god I pray to. That’s because only the finest apples make it into the Mott’s basket, before being blended in their special family recipe along with 25 grams of sugar to ensure a flavor that meets my high standards. As it says on the jar, “Putting little between the orchards and you, the way you trust us to.” Or as William Shakespeare once said, “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none, except with drone strikes to Al Queda.”
So for today’s photo enclave, we are showcasing our friend, the organic apple, as they appear on a couple of trees at The Farm at UCSC. It’s an exhilarating experience seeing produce in the growing stage. I saw broccoli in the soil for the first time. I always thought it grew together along with the beef.
We then check out an early October sunrise shot from the playing field up at UCSC. Although I wasn’t able to capture the reflection of the clouds on Monterey Bay, they did create some viewing action for students and Phi Beta Baseball Kappa wearing alumni in the local vicinity.
On to the late night. “Apparently after last week’s debate, polls show Obama trailing Romney by one point. One point — or as it’s also known, ‘the thing Obama failed to make during last week’s debate.’ Last night, a woman on QVC fainted on the air, but her co-host kept talking as if nothing had happened. One person was unconscious while the other one just kept talking — kind of like last week’s presidential debate.” –Jimmy Fallon
“While the average American’s net worth has gone down in the last four years, the net worth of the average member of Congress has actually gone up. No wonder Congress isn’t motivated to do anything — they’re the only ones better off now than they were four years ago. Unemployment is 7.8 percent, the lowest it’s been since Obama took office. The Obama campaign said they can’t wait to take these statistics and not use them in the next debate.” –Jay Leno
“According to Nielson numbers, more than 70 million people watched Wednesday’s debate either on TV, online, or from one of the podiums.” –Seth Meyers “I have not seen a black man look that disinterested and annoyed since I dragged Chris Rock to that Beach Boys concert.” –Bill Maher
“Your choice now is pretty clear. You can either vote for the guy who got rid of bin Laden or vote for the guy who wants to get rid of Big Bird.” –David Letterman “In a new interview, first lady Michelle Obama said that she would choose Will Smith or Denzel Washington to play her husband in a movie. Or as Democrats put that, ‘Any way they can play him in a debate?’” –Jimmy Fallon
The consensus is that Mitt Romney won the presidential debate last night. The only people who thought Obama won were the replacement refs. -Jay Leno “At one point last night President said the one thing about being president is learning to say no — especially when someone asks, ‘Do you feel ready for this debate?’” –Conan O’Brien “The only thing that could have salvaged the president’s performance would have been if the body of bin Laden fell from the ceiling onto the stage.” –Jimmy Kimmel
So that’s the scoop. Congratulations go out to my three-point shooting nephew Joshua, who celebrated his bar mitzvah this past weekend. Now he is a man. Let’s see if he can move his feet on defense.
We’ll catch you as a 40-year-old smacking a pinch hit home run in the ninth and then blasting another bomb in the 12th inning to win it and send Yankee fans into a happy frenzy. And then hitting another game-tying homer in the bottom half of the ninth again on Saturday. Aloha, mahalo and later, Raul Ibanez fans.